Sweden has stopped recommending COVID vaccination for healthy children under the age of 18, with the country's Public Health Authority stating that only in "special circumstances" should children be vaccinated.
Very few Swedish children have fallen seriously ill with or from COVID, despite the fact that the country did not lock down along with the rest of Europe and most of the rest of the world. Schools remained open throughout the pandemic period.
“Overall, we see that the need for care as a result of COVID-19 has been low among children and young people during the pandemic, and has also decreased since the virus variant omicron began to spread,” Sören Andersson, head of a unit at the Public Health Authority, told broadcaster SVT.
“At this phase of the pandemic, we do not see that there is a continued need for vaccination in this group,” Andersson added.
In Israel too, children have had a very low rate of serious illness from COVID, as has also been seen globally. The Israeli Health Ministry does not provide a breakdown of deaths by age group on its COVID information website and such information is hard to come by, but from the information available it is known that as of the end of 2021, just four children between the ages of 5 and 11 passed away from COVID, and all had other significant health issues to contend with.
Furthermore, a government survey conducted during 2021 concluded that the risk of long COVID is approximately 1.8 percent in children between the ages of 3 and 6, rising to 4.6 percent in older children under the age of 18.
In September, the UK ended distribution of COVID vaccines for children under 12, with some children with serious preexisting conditions exempted from the change.
Weeks later, Denmark restricted the use of COVID vaccines for healthy children and adults under 50.